The game between RR and KXIP was all sorts of crazy. For starters, it was the highest successful run chase in IPL but it was not just that. It was the story of redemption. A story of a person going from zero to hero in 6 balls. Although the game would mostly be remembered for the highest successful run chase in the history of the IPL, an asterisk will sure be added for Rahul Tewatia by the side of it. The same Tewatia who was on the cusp of being dropped and forgotten from the game in the same game.
To understand the absurdity of Tewatia’s game we must start from the very beginning. Tewatia is a Leg spinner from Haryana who hasn’t had a very good career so far. He has been moved around in the IPL from Rajasthan Royals to KXIP to Delhi Daredevils to finally being picked again by KXIP for this year’s IPL. He has been a true journeyman, never grabbing opportunities, just happy to be there. Before his game-winning knock, this game was just a summary of Tewatia’s cricketing career. He bowled just one over that went for 19 runs and was never given another one.
His coach and captain had seen him bat very well in the nets and so they gave him a chance. He was sent after Smith’s dismissal to try to bring home the match. Samson was playing rather well from the other end so this shouldn’t have been as difficult for Tewatia as he made it to be.
Having made up his mind from the get-go, he was ready to hit every ball and so he did. Though the problem was, he couldn’t hit any ball nearly as good as he pictured himself doing it.
With every missed shot the pressure was rising exponentially. At one point he was 5 off of 13 balls! The whole of social media was asking him to hit wicket and get out of the ground. There was a point when Samson declined a run since he didn’t want Tewatia on strike.
Tewatia played so poorly that he could have single-handedly lost RR the match. But he didn’t! Cotrell, the in-form pacer form West Indies was ready to ball the 18th over and all hope was almost lost for the RR. As he bowled the first ball, Tewatia moved slightly to the right side and slogged it on the leg for a six. That single six potentially won RR the match. Tewatia now believed that he could indeed hit sixes as he does in nets. The next balls went for sixes and the required runs went from 51 of 18 to 21 of 12! The game was easily won at the end and Tewatia’s redemption arc was complete. He went from Zero to Hero in just 6 balls.